Reflecting on 2016

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I can’t quite believe that 2016 is almost over! It seems like it was only a few months ago that I was making my resolutions for the New Year ahead. It really feels like 2016 has whizzed past, particularly the last few months. Over Christmas, I haven’t been quite as productive as I’d hoped, but as I sat down to begin pulling together this post; it soon became clear that I perhaps needed a break!

At the start of the year, I made five resolutions for 2016:

  1. Make more for me
  2. Make more for Mr Makes
  3. Try new crafts
  4. Blog more
  5. Socialise with more creative folk

Whenever I look back at resolutions, I always do so with slight fear, did I try to do too much, have I failed miserably? I’m proud to say that although I haven’t really looked at the list since early January, I’ve actually managed to achieve all of them in some form!

My first pledge was to make more for me, and that was probably to give me the push to tackle the Tilly and the Buttons Coco pattern, which I had excitedly bought, and then hid in a drawer. A mere 8 months after initial purchase, I finally took the plunge… and I was hooked! I’d actually made something that I would wear. I’ve since made two further Cocos, two Dominique skirts, a Bettine dress, and a Cleo dungaree dress, and all of them are being worn regularly. So much so, that I do sense the disappointment in colleague’s voices when they ask me if I’ve made the outfit I’m wearing that day and I confess it’s shop-bought!

Sadly, Mr Makes didn’t get quite so many makes. Although he did get a banner for his cycling room (our garage), my new kit, which is being hidden away in a drawer, is a Sew Over It tie kit, which I keep promising to make for him! If it’s not done by the end of 2017, he has my full permission to whinge!

I also pledged to try new crafts, and although I’ve only done a little of this, I’ve definitely embraced spray-painting. Mr Makes bought me a voucher for Christmas for a spray-painting workshop, and since going in August, I’ve been treating myself to some paint of my own. The thing I love about this is it’s a craft that I can do with Mr Makes, he enjoys it just as much as me!

Blogging more was an important resolution for me; I’d launched the blog in 2015, but for many reasons, just didn’t have the time to dedicate to it. In 2016, I definitely got more into a rhythm and have got into a routine of setting my alarm early on a Sunday morning to get up and post. It’s slipped a little (lot) over the festive season, but normal service will soon be resumed!

Finally, I also wanted to spend more time socialising with creative folk, and I can tick this one off with a big smile. Throughout 2016 I’ve had the chance to meet so many wonderful fellow creative and bloggers through events like Blogtacular and the Independent Oxford meet ups, and it’s probably my highlight of the year. The creative community is simply wonderful.

At this time of year, it’s all too easy to focus on things that haven’t gone so well (and there have admittedly been a few), and I tend to think about these more than the good bits. However, as I sat down and wrote out my list of achievements for the year, I was proud.

At the start of the year, I had one main goal for Em Makes and Bakes, 500 Instagram followers by the end of December. It wasn’t a huge number, but at the time I was struggling to get new followers. A week ago, I hit the 1k milestone, and was over the moon. It wasn’t easy, and no matter how many articles you read, inevitably you have to find your own way, so I’m so happy that I smashed my target! In addition to that, during the year I’ve also worked on two posts with other independents, been published twice in print, and launched a new venture, Create Craft Kits, with one of my best friends. I also opened my own Etsy store, selling my first products. I somehow also managed to find the time to also train for and run a 10k, because I apparently like to keep myself busy!

As New Year approaches, I hope that you are all also focusing on all of your achievements, no matter how big or small.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of the Em Makes and Bakes journey this year, whether you’ve bought a kit, or commented on a post, or just given me a little like or follow on Instagram, it all means the world to me. Thank you so much for your support.

With lots of love and best wishes for the New Year ahead,

Em x

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